Death And Taxes

Meanings of “Death And Taxes”

The phrase “death and taxes” means that you have to pay taxes until you are alive. It also means that the inevitability of death can make you free from the burden of tax, or else you will have to pay it even if you are having a tough time. Overall, it means that death and taxes are two sure things, while other things in life may be uncertain.

Origin of “Death And Taxes”

The phrase “death and taxes” has been in use for a long time in Great Britain. The first time it appeared in print in 1726 in The Political History of the Devil, a great book, written by Daniel Defoe in which he has mentioned that “Things [are] as certain as death and taxes.” Later, it is stated that Benjamin Franklin and Margaret Mitchell used it as well.

Examples in Literature

Example #1

Death and Taxes By Urayoán Noel

The housewives laugh at what they can’t avoid:
In single file, buckling one by one
Under the weight of the late summer sun,
They drop their bags, they twitch, and are destroyed.
He hears a voice (there is a bust of Freud
Carved on the mountainside). He tucks the gun
Under his rented beard and starts to run.
(“The housewives laugh at what they can’t avoid.”)
Like She-bears fettered to a rusted moon
They crawl across the parking lot and shed
Tearblood. The office park is closing soon.
Night falls. The neighborhood buries its dead
And changes channels—Zap! Ah, the purity
Of death and taxes and Social Security.

The poem sheds light on the postmodern reality, and also on the general social life as it goes on no matter what happens. When the housewives, the poet says, are arguing and laughing to enjoy life, they also know that a neighboring person has died and relatives are engaged in his funeral and burial rites. However, there is another issue of social security which shows that death and taxes continue what may happen in life.

Example #2

Death and Taxes by Matthew Holloway

Death and taxes
They say we are all to know
death and taxes
so we better make the best
of whatever life brings
some keep on trying
in the face of adversity
governments enslaving laws
seemingly trying to break us
community stands strong
where we stick together
paying our way, biding time
living not surviving
taxes and death paid out
in sufferance but still
were still standing

Matthew Holloway highlights the new governance system based on taxes. He argues that people are aware of knowing two things; death and taxes. Therefore, they still try to make the best of what is available to them, though, governments are trying to enslave them through further taxes. The phrase has been used three times in the poem; once as an epigraph, and twice with direct meanings within the text.

Example #3

Death & Taxes by Daniel Caesar

“Surely my sins have found me out
God rest my soul, but show me out
Surely my sins have found me out
Spit on my grave, but kiss my mouth

Surely we’ll live to see the day
When all of our problems, they fade away

I see your heartbreak and I feel your pain
It’s funny how heaven and hell are the same
Come walk with me, I don’t play those games
I live in the real world, I’ve lost my faith.”

The singer speaks about God, saying that He would find out his sin. Therefore, he asks his beloved that she should pay homage to him by loving him as they are living in difficult situations, where it seems funny that there is no religion. The phrase, though, never occurs in the text, it has been shown implicitly through the situation prevalent in the real world that is the world of death and taxes where the singer feels suffocated. The phrase has been used as the title to show its implicit use in the shape of its ramifications.

Example #4

Death and Taxes by Thomas B. Dewey

The story revolves around Mac, a private detective, who is assigned with the task by a gangster, Paul, to hand over a million-dollar amount to his daughter after his death, but he dies before he reveals the place, or hand over the documents. Not only Mac loses the fees but also becomes a center of suspicion on the account that he must be knowing the whereabouts of that amount. The story sheds light on the use of this phrase as the title to present its metaphorical representation.

Example in Sentences

Example #1: “Whether it is totalitarian government or democracy, the use of death and taxes always become inevitable for them.”

Example #2: “Most of the time people do not pay attention but ultimately they come to realize the importance of death and taxes like life and salaries.”

Example #3: “Bob has given nothing to his company except death and taxes, and the new ruler will give them nothing except death and taxes. It is all the same for us.”

Example #4: “Hanna promised to live her best after a terminal cancer diagnosis. She knew no one can escape death and taxes. So, saving for her future was pointless, and her children should make their own fortune.”

Example #5: “I do not care about death and taxes; at least I have given a fig to them in this forest, for who will come to demand tax, and who will kill me if I do not pay.”